Concern over delay of reformed functional skills

TES is reporting that the specifications for the new functional skills qualifications might not be ready until the May half-term, a Department for Education official has said.

This has led to concerns from college leaders and functional skills teachers that there will only be the last six weeks of the summer term for staff to carry out the continuous professional development (CPD) needed to teach the new qualifications.

Speaking at the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) English and maths conference today, Jim Addison, the DfE’s head of post-16 basic skills, said that, from conversations he has had with awarding organisations, he expected the new specifications might be released at some point in March or April, but that the “worst case” scenario would be May half-term.

When asked whether the new qualifications would be ready for a September delivery, Mr Addison responded that he was “confident”.

Mr Addison said the department was not expecting the specifications to be published in May half-term, but rather that it was a worst-case scenario.  

AoC senior policy officer Catherine Sezen said the delay to the release of the specifications was a “cause for concern” for colleges hoping to manage CPD and delivery, and asked for updates to be shared with colleges.

Read more Concern over delay of reformed functional skills

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